Halifax Water warns about so-called flushable wipes after pump clogged

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Halifax Water is showing residents just how harmful so-called flushable wipes can be to the wastewater system.

A photo from the utility shows a mass of rags and wipes clogging the Duffus Street pump station, shortly after crews had attempted to do emergency repairs by putting in a new pump.

It all began July 19, when Halifax Water said a pump failure had led to screened — but untreated — wastewater to be released into Halifax Harbour.

That prompted the utility to warn people not to swim in the harbour.

By July 23, Halifax Water said the pump had been replaced and things were back to normal, only to re-issue the unscreened wastewater warning on Aug. 1.

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There had been another failure.

“Halifax Water safely completed emergency repairs to its Duffus Street wastewater pump station at 10:30 pm last night,” a news release said Aug. 3.

“However, when testing commenced, the pump was quickly overwhelmed and clogged with rags and wipes.”

The release added that crews are working “as safely and as quickly as possible to unclog the pump and screen.”

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The utility said clogs caused by wipes is costly for them, both in time and resources.

“Halifax Water wants to remind residents that flushing should be limited to ONLY the 3Ps (pee, poo, and paper) even under regular operation,” the release stated.

“So-called “flushable wipes” are not flushable and belong in your garbage.”

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In the meantime, customers who are serviced by the Duffus Street station are being asked to flush less often, and not pour as much water down their drain, until repairs are complete.

The affected areas include Larry Uteck Boulevard, the Fairview area and a section of north end Halifax.

Halifax Water is asking customers in the area around the Duffus Street wastewater pump station to minimize the amount of water they’re flushing and pouring into their drains. Provided/Halifax Water

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